It's been said before: Today woman have more than they have ever had but they are more unhappy than they have ever been. In a recent Time article, Nancy Gibbs, using the newest statistics, enumerates the significant progress women have made in just one generation. But she goes on to acknowledge that as a result, women are also more stressed and burdened by the weight of their new responsibilities.
In my experience, when Christian women discuss this trend, they often do so with a cynical "I told you so" attitude. The common assumption is that women can (and should) realize their greatest potential by staying at home as a wife and mother and leaving the workplace to the man. They would be happy if they just did that, instead of chasing after equality.
But whether or not this assumption holds up to biblical scrutiny, it misses a vital point: It's not about happiness.
Jesus didn't address the Samaritan woman at the well—elevating her to a much higher place in society—so that she could be happy. Jesus didn't allow Mary to sit at his feet and learn—a place often occupied by male students—just to keep her happy. Christians don't follow God so that they can be happy. And Justin Wolfers, co-author of the study "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," told Time in trying to explain the trend, "As Susan Faludi said, the women's movement wasn't about happiness." It is about doing what is right. Or, as a Christian might put it, about bringing about God's vision for society.
Throughout the Bible, God grants women a significance that was unheard of in their culture. He was constantly elevating them to the status of men. And despite numerous passages delineating gender roles, not once does Scripture state that women ...1
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